Must-Order Kale Salads from Coast to Coast
Kale is the new black. Across the country, these kale salads remain on the A list.
Photo By: Michael Grimm ©2014 by Michael Grimm
Kale's Big Comeback
Kale, with its fibrous, cabbage-like leaves loaded with beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium, was once the nerd of the vegetable drawer — obscure, super-healthy and wildly underappreciated. But the nation's top chefs have revitalized this beautiful green, using it in all sorts of powerhouse salads and turning it almost famous. Here are some of our favorite kale salads from coast to coast.
Photo by Anjali Pinto/Stella Barra Pizzeria
Atlanta: The Optimist
If you want to eat your kale, but you're kinda hungry for something big and hearty, try Chef Ford Fry's kale salad at The Optimist. This is a kale salad that eats like a meal. You'll want a big appetite for this oversized bowl of beautiful greens topped with bright Calabrese peppers, smoky chorizo and frizzled shallots in a zippy sherry vinaigrette.
Photo courtesy of The Optimist
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Chicago: Little Goat
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Dallas: CBD Provisions
The kale salad at Chef/Co-Owner Steve Redzikowski's Acorn restaurant is something out of the ordinary. The chef doesn't shy away from bold flavors and jazzes his salad up with shaved Honeycrisp apples, Parmesan, togarashi chiles and candied almonds.
Photo by Jen Olson
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Evanston, Ill.: Found
Found, the New American kitchen in Evanston, has a kale salad on the menu all year long. Chef Nicole Pederson changes up the garnishes depending on seasonal and local produce. These days as the weather warms up, she’s offering a kale and Swiss chard salad topped with nuts, seeds and fresh rhubarb.
Photo courtesy of Galdones Photography
Glen Ellen, Calif.: Glen Ellen Star
Los Angeles: Hinoki & the Bird
New York: il Buco
If you're looking for the most-authentic expression of a classic Italian kale salad, look no further than il Buco, the seasonal Italian-Mediterranean spot in New York City's NoHo neighborhood. The salad has been on the menu since the restaurant opened its doors 20 years ago and will, quite frankly, never come off it. Try Chef Joel Hough's Cavolonero Salad — Tuscan black kale in a garlic-anchovy-lemon vinaigrette, with filone croutons — and you will immediately understand why.
Photo by Michael Grimm
North Bethesda, Md.: Stella Barra Pizzeria
At Stella Barra Pizzeria, Chef/Partner Jeff Mahin focuses on the beauty of the greens. His Heirloom Spinach & Purple Kale Salad is a rather simple affair. It gets topped with just a flurry of shaved radishes and a couple of Medjool dates, for one fine lunch.
Photo by Anjali Pinto
More About: Stella Barra Pizzeria
Portland, Ore.: Nostrana
At Portland's Nostrana, owner and Executive Chef Cathy Whims — a six-time James Beard Award finalist — goes the traditional route with a Tuscan kale salad topped with housemade ricotta and raisins plumped in Marsala.
Photo courtesy of Michael Ernsting Photography